Salvador has just two seasons — shorts and a tank top vs. shorts and a t-shirt.
No, I’m kidding. It’s just shorts and a tank top. Year round.
In all seriousness, being just 12 degrees south of the equator, it’s toasty-warm and humid (80% humidity) year-round. The key difference between summer and winter here is the amount of rain we get.
The average daily temperature in Salvador varies between 75 and 80˚ F year-round (24 – 27˚ C) with little variability between day and night. Daytime highs range from 79 – 86˚ F (26-30˚ C), while nighttime lows range from 70 – 75˚ F (21 – 24˚ C). That means that it never really cools off overnight, making the heat the next day that much more oppressive.
Average Daily Temperature
Sunrise and Sunset
Being close to the equator, the sun rises and sets at virtually the same time of day year-round. Since we are in the Southern Hemisphere, summer and winter are flipped, and our longest days are at the end of December, when the sun rises at 5am and sets at 6pm. During our winter equinox in June, we see sunrise around 6am with sunset around 5:30pm.
Average Hours of Sun per Day
The largest difference we see between summer and winter is the rainfall. September through January, or summer, we see very little rainfall. The average rainfall per month is 3” (8cm) and it’s generally blue skies all day every day as the rain tends to fall at night.
April through June are our wettest months, with average monthly rainfall of 8-10” (20-25cm). The rain is also more likely to fall throughout the day, so we have a lot of cloudy days and the locals complain about being cold.
Average Precipitation Levels
Average Number of Days per Month with Rain
Because of global weather patterns, Salvador simply does not get severe weather. We have no tornadoes or cyclones. There aren’t any nearby earthquake zones and we aren’t subject to tsunamis. And, we only rarely have thunderstorms — I can count on one hand the number of times I even hear thunder in a year.
When is the Best Time to Visit
Based upon whether, there is no BAD time to visit. If you are looking for blue skies, September through March is a great time to come.
From December 4th through Carnaval the entire city is in Carnaval mode, and that is when you can expect the most live music on the streets and shows to go to, particularly if you wait until January. January is my personal favorite month in the city — it’s sufficiently far from carnaval to not be totally nuts, but the streets are lively and there is TONS going on virtually every night of the week.
August and September are popular months for the Europeans to come visit before the kids all go back to school. If the music scene isn’t your priority, then this is a great time to come. The weather should be nice, the prices are lower than in January, and a nice healthy buzz of tourist activity makes everyone happy.
June has Festa de Juninas (June festivals) when the northeast celebrates with music traditional to the region. In Salvador, we get a lot of Forro and music from the interior of the state.